WESTFORD (CBS) – The teachers and kids in Westford are in the same boat as every other school district in the state – and the country – for that matter. How do you safely reopen schools?
However, in Westford, the teachers have said no to classroom teaching. According to the Westford Teachers Union, the decision was nearly unanimous.
“I’m not so much worried about my own health,” said fourth-grade teacher Kristine Jussaume. “It’s the health of my husband and son, who both have asthma.”
The Westford Teachers Union has sent a letter to the superintendent saying they want to start the new school year with remote learning to “buy more time.” Safety is the key, they say.
However, he said, students who don’t feel safe will have a hard time learning. “When students don’t feel safe, they don’t learn anywhere close to optimal,” Union President Mike Colson said.”And I adamantly believe if teachers don’t feel safe, students certainly aren’t going to feel safe.”
The state has told all the districts to come up with three plans: in classroom learning, remote learning and a hybrid model.
“There isn’t disagreement that kids do better in school. That the ultimate goal is to get the students back in class safely,” Colson said.
Westford teachers say teaching won’t work under COVID guidelines, such as masks and social distancing.
“Now we’re taking away social situations that build a classroom community,” Jussaume said.